On November 2nd, 2021, in the early evening, Alfred University students, faculty, and staff received an email from President Mark Zupan about “repugnant behavior” on campus.
The email said, “Over the last two days, we have received an indirect report that there may have been some repugnant behavior on our campus between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Saturday night. The behavior, if confirmed, represents a serious breach of acceptable norms for this or any other campus environment. Regardless of confirmation, Alfred University will not tolerate any behavior that threatens the health, safety, and well-being of the members of our community.”
The email gained infamy as ripples were sent out along the student body as to what exactly happened. The “hush-hush” attitude of the email wasn’t taken well by most, with there being a disconnect in wanting to know exactly what this threat is and in respecting the investigation.
While it has yet to be confirmed, as there are witnesses stating that the individuals were, instead, dressed as ghosts, some student sources claim that the “repugnant behavior” was nine to twelve individuals dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan walking around the King Alfred statue.
The incident is almost reminiscent of the rumors surrounding the creation of Common Ground, with there being no concrete story to tell as to why it is a mandatory class for first years. Students took it upon themselves to embellish what they knew, or thought they knew, leading to more miscommunication and misinformation spreading through each generation of AU students.
While the investigation is still ongoing, if anyone knows anything about the incident, it is recommended to contact members of faculty and staff. The Student Senate and Institute for Cultural Unity, as well as director Brian Saltsman, are advocating for safety on campus and are interested in making sure the right people are held accountable for this incident.
Alfred University has a large population of people of color and LGBTQ+, and an incident such as this needs to be thoroughly investigated and the people involved must be held accountable for their actions.
By: Sam Sage